George Watson Muir was born in 1943. He worked at Christian Salvesen, a whaling and transport company, before studying engineering at Aberdeen University. He then worked at 3i and then between 1974 and 1992 he was employed by Morgan Grenfell, before leaving to work at Compagnie Generale des Eaux in 1996. He was then appointed as the Managing Director of Connex South Eastern Train Operating Company, serving in this post between 1997 and 1998, then returned to Compagnie Generale des Eaux until 1999. He became the Director General of the Association of Train Operating Companies in 1999, serving in this capacity until 2008.